Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta- Weekend Trek


Vachana's loyal hunting boots!
You guys will no longer believe me if I tell you I’m not a trekker. This trek to Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta (let’s shorten it to BR Betta) was my third trek in the last five months; the first one being Kurinjal (read about it here) and second being Skandagiri (read about it here). That’s weird because I believed that I’m not one of those enthu-fit persons. I’m still not. Yet, I have finally found out why I keep saying yes to Vachana (the one who insists on such physically demanding routines). It’s not the trek, it’s the view.

The thrill of being on an elevation, to feel the gusts of wind, to inhale deeply the oxygen and intoxicate oneself with the vistas that the peak provides. That’s why the climb is worth it. And as I realized this time, it’s even more fun when the company you climb with are fun-loving people.


For the first time, I trekked with the Bangalore Trekking Club. I was so skeptical of going on a random trek with random people. I was just being stupid (which is so me!). These trekkers were the most down-to-earth people. A common tie- the love for treks- bonded them together. They are hands-on people, fun-loving, and it was jolly, good fun trekking with them.

The organizer, Sangamesh, did a pretty good job. Early by 7:15am, we, 21of us, were bundled in a Tempo Traveller and whisked away to BR Betta. On the way, we watched the Indian-entry-for-Oscars this year, a Kannada movie called “LUCIA” and yes, I lapped up the movie completely. Go, watch it… It comes with English subtitles!
The trek to the top

Coming back to the trek, halfway through, we stopped for breakfast and parceled our lunch and we reached BR Betta by 10:30am. The sun was a bit merciless, the trek was said to be 7-8kms and we walked on the well-beaten track to the top, ‘interluding’ with water-breaks, shade-breaks and story-breaks!




Fire-wood food!



I guess by 12:30pm, we reached the top. There’s a temple at the top and we saw people cooking lunch on firewood (lovely smell!). It so happened that someone had bought a new tractor (“Sarpanch” brand, no less!) and there was a puja and a feast in progress. The villagers eyed us and we eyed them and then we talked to them and they talked to us and then it was “aa… gale lag jaa”… the pleasantry of Indian “fraanship”.





We fooled around for a while around the temple and they invited us to join in the feast! Awfully sweet of them. We were 21hungry beasts by the time we reached the top. We didn’t want them to exhaust their supplies and insisted that we eat our packed lunch but they had good persuasive skills and after a while, there we were, sitting on the temple verandah, eating and reveling and thanking. Lovely, hospitable people! Such heartfelt warmth you shall not find in the best places that money can buy. Bet on it!



















Now, coming to the view that I yearn for while trekking, on the other side of the temple, is a water tank and a view that is so pristine that all I wanted was to sit on a rock and meditate. The clouds made weird shapes on the green valley that spread all around us. We were at the top, of course, and the wind embraced us and the sun warmed us. I laid on a rock and took a mini-nap. So did Vachana (poor girl was running a temperature), the others sat around and joked about. We sat there for a while and around 3:45pm, we began our descent.




Descending was easy, we strutted along, talked, made each other the butt of jokes (all in good zest, my dear) and in an hour’s time or so, we were comfortably back to square one, back in the Tempo Traveller, watching the rest of LUCIA, playing Antrakshiri and singing ourselves hoarse!

Comrades




What a fantastic way to spend a Sunday! Thank you, fellow-trekkers, for being you and being so comradely! And thanks, Bangalore Trekking Club, for organizing a successful event!

Dead Tired


Vachana and I do the shoe-pose!
P.S. Take sunscreen and shades (which I forgot again!)
P.P.S. My face has swollen; the cause being the sun. Normal people get sunburn, I get sun-swollen. Damn! :/

For more information on this not-for-profit trekking group, visit http://www.bangaloretrekkingclub.com/
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